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Funny that last week I watched two Stephen King-based films (“Dreamcatcherrubbish” and “The Mist”) and two William Goldman-written films (“Dreamcatchermoronicnonsense” and “The Princess Bride”). The overlap is the worst, but the other two ones are actually rather decent. “The Mist” is engraved in my memory as a brilliant audio experience, as it was recorded in some 3-dimensional Kunstkopf-Stereo when it was released some 20 years ago. I must have the tape somewhere – but no tape player, dammit! I

always liked the story, because it combines some well-established and reliable motives (say “The Fog”, “The Birds” and “Dawn of the Dead”), and combined it with King’s ability to depict the relationships between real human characters pushed to the edge, and a bit over.

This “Mist” now, with the production qualities of Frank Darabont – the old Stephen King hand of Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile reputation – is equally reliable, and surely provides from some nice thrill and gore in a cinema. On DVD, it is not as effective, as the blindness one is exposed to when the Mist hits the screen is just too small on the TV screen and does not engulf you the way it is supposed to.

A pretty good, yet rather unknown cast around Thomas Jane as the artist faced with madness from another world and more madness from his own. The fuss around Marcia Gray Harden as religious loonie is a bit exaggerated, I find, but still she contributes the required and gets what she deserves in the end.

The deviation from the story’s original ending is acceptable if you are not too religious about an author’s intentions – I very much like the new ending, I admit, but would have liked it more had it not been a bit predictable (which may be the reason why King had chosen another path in his story).

Anyway: the film deservedly enters the top-15 Stephen King film adaptations. It is a long shot away from The Shining, Carrie, or Stand By Me, but on the other end, it is gratefully out of sight of Children of the Corn…

Mr Ebert does not like it too much, I see, and check out Variety’s Review.

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